More Ford Production Heads South of the Border, Down Mexico Way

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
more ford production heads south of the border down mexico way

In an announcement that’s been anticipated for months, Ford Motor Company said today it will build a small car plant in Mexico’s San Luis Potosi state.

Ford will spend $1.6 billion on the facility, which starts construction this summer and will employ 2,800 workers by 2020.

The automaker isn’t saying what vehicles it will produce at the plant, but it’s widely expected that the Focus will move to Mexico after production stops at its Wayne, Michigan facility in 2018. Offshoots of the platform, including a rumored hybrid, could also be produced.

News of automobile manufacturing jobs heading south of the border hit hard in Detroit, where United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams reportedly called the move “a disappointment and troubling.”

Late last year, the UAW ratified new agreements for workers employed by the Big Three automakers. Though entry-level workers saw wage hikes, the contract allowed the automakers to increase vehicle production in other countries, especially that of lower-end models like compact cars.

Workers at Mexico manufacturing plants make less than one-quarter the wages of U.S. auto workers, increasing an automaker’s profits on the end product. Ford already manufactures engines, heavy trucks, and its Fiesta subcompact in Mexico.

In its official release, Ford said it was “boosting small car profitability” and “increasing competitiveness” by investing in the plant.

The freed-up capacity at Ford’s Wayne assembly plant is expected to be used for the next Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV.

[Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg]

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15 of 131 comments
  • Mason Mason on Apr 05, 2016

    RIP UAW. Hola MAW.

  • TomHend TomHend on Apr 05, 2016

    Mexico is a Narco-State, I wonder how much Ford had to pay the drug cartels to get the factory permits....

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    • FreedMike FreedMike on Apr 06, 2016

      @DeadWeight As I understand it, Mexican cops either aren't paid, or are paid so poorly that they have to make a living off graft. Silly system...and easy to fix. When you have actual, enforceable laws against public servants being on the take, and pay them a decent wage, corruption becomes far less of an issue. (Personally, I'd like to see members of Congress paid $1 million a year each for this reason...the extra money spent would be a drop in the bucket budget wise, and when you're already rich legally, payola becomes a lot less attractive. I'm sure people will vehemently oppose this idea out of nothing more than (current) hatred of elected officials...)

  • TrailerTrash TrailerTrash on Apr 05, 2016

    I might be wrong...but the math should show the increase in American jobs by Ford this past year were indeed large. Yes..the number of jobs or the percentage of jobs in Mexico will show big...but the real number of increased US higher paying jobs by Ford are nice. The big picture is in real, total job increases.

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    • Master Baiter Master Baiter on Apr 06, 2016

      @VoGo "The longest stretch of private sector job growth in American history." That's one way to spin it. The stretch may be long, but the growth rates are low compared to most of Obama's predecessors. Look it up. Nixon, Reagan, Johnson and Clinton all had higher net job growth in the first six years of their presidencies compared to Obama, and with lower baseline populations. . .

  • Mikein08 Mikein08 on Apr 05, 2016

    This is why I buy Nissans and Hondas - they're made right here in the USofA. Too bad Ford doesn't want to do that.

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    • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Apr 06, 2016

      @ToddAtlasF1 No, Todd, many buy those brands because many of the models are actually class-competitive, and some are even class leading. It is no longer 1985. Wake up,